(Amazon.com product link shortened)
At the risk of prolonging this thread, the 12" jointer referenced above
is $3800.00. If you assume that you could have your wood supplier dress
your wood for $1/bf, you could make 3800 ft of shelving before paying
for the jointer, neglecting the cost of the power. Of course, you could
probably get that wood dressed for MUCH less than $1/bf. 4000ft of
shelving is a LOT of shelving unless you are making it for sale.
On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 21:16:10 -0500, Paul Kierstead
Use the proper tool for what you want to do. Using a jointer in
attempt to flatten a board will give you a board with an uneven
thickness. A jointer is no substitute for a planer. As for the
DJ-20, I bought it mainly for the bed size and the mechanism of
adjusting the bed rather than the size of the knives. I can also cut
a rabbet with the DJ-20, but there are better tools to cut rabbets.
Just to be fair, they CAN flatten a board, even though that is not
their primary purpose. I'm sure you are referring to the fact that if
you have an 8/4 board 12" wide with a twist, repeated passes through a
planer will give you a thinner and thinner twisted board. (same with
cup or bow)
But if I were asked to flatten that board without my hand planes, my
13" planer would be the tool of choice. I would make a carrier (a box
beam the width of my planer and length of the workpiece), use wedges
(with double-stick tape) to provide support under the high corners and
edges of my workpiece, then run it through the planer. The carrier and
wedges will hopefully keep the rollers from flattening the piece, thus
keeping the planer from doing its job of cutting to uniform thickness.
Then once I have a surface planed parallel to my flat box-beam
reference surface, I can flip the board and use the planer as it was
intended to bring the board to uniform thickness.
So I would use a planer to flatten a board by jury-rigging a way to
keep it from doing its intended job!
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.
<snip good description of planer sled>
Very true. However, a router can do this as well, but nobody would say
it is the "right" tool for the job; just a tool that could get the job
done in a pinch. I have also heard that if you set a planer to *really*
light passes, it can flatten a fair deal, though to be honest my DeWalt
puts quite a bit of pressure on the board before cutting at all; i.e.
the rollers seem to be a fair be lower then the head. So I don't know
about that one.
I guess I can see that for cupped lumber, or bow in a short, thick
piece, where the pressure/feed rollers (they are one and the same on
small bench-top planers, aren't they?) don't have the "muscle" to
straighten out the warp. But I can't see it at all for twist, since
the board will rock freely with the lightest pressure from the
Same with my Delta. Seems like they would have to be to do their job.
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.
Which is, of course, why you run the board through a thickness planer
Neither is a planer a substitute for a jointer.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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It's possible to use a smaller joiner to flatten a wide board. In a pinch,
yes you can emove SAFETY Equipment and plane the right 6-8 inches until
flat. Then place on a mdf sled and run through a planer being supported by a
6-8 inch sled. Then flip oner and finish the first side with a planer.
Don't expect to plane both side of the same board parallel with just a
joiner. It takes both a planer and a joiner. 12" is rare in a machine but
grizzley has one.
Wow, I'm surprised and really very pleased that my original post
generated so much traffic. Let me clarify my situation somewhat. I
realize that a new 12" jointer will run me at least $2k, and that it
will require help to place, move, and power. I'm not independently
wealthy, but I do believe in saving up and buying the tool that will do
what I want and last me for a good long time.
I do have a good 13" planer (Christmas present), and I've been very
impressed with the way that it produces a finished plank from a flat,
rough-sawn piece of lumber. But I'd like to be able to remove the cup
that so often shows up in wider lumber, and the planer doesn't do much
of that. You can, I've read, stick some shims against the concave side
of the board before sending it through the planer, but the planer has
enough work to do just feeding and cutting a wide piece of hardwood.
I do build a lot of shelves and I'd like to start selling them, since
quite a few folks have asked me to make them for them, and books are a
big industry here in Charlottesville. I use a PC plate joiner and some
clamps that I made myself (from 2x4's and threaded rod-they work great)
to put them all together, but I'd like to avoid having to join two
narrow pieces for the sides because 1. it's a bit of a pain, and 2. it
doesn't look as nice even with two halves of the same original board,
thanks to the kerf.
If I can remove the cup from a wide board with an 8" jointer (and it
sounds to me like I can) then obviously I'd rather save the extra
thousand dollars for lumber, electricity, and food. 8^)
Oh and, though I'm not trolling, I AM making a 7' by 30" bookcase out
of walnut at present. I can get it from the local mill for $4-6 per
b.f., which isn't too bad when I can find enough flat stock. Lowe's
wants almost $4.50/bf for clear pine, so it's not all that much to pay
for such gorgeous wood. I'm going to make the normally unseen back
halves of some of the shelves out of a cheaper wood and join them with
Thanks very much for all the info; I'm going to read it all carefully.
A "good 13" planer" should have bed rollers and a serrated steel infeed
roller? If so, piece of cake to get the cup out, as the planer will feed a
board with almost zero infeed pressure after adjustment. If you sight the
board and do even some crude work with a hand plane you can get a _lot_ of
twist out easily, plus local lumps around knots and such. Of course, those
would take some effort even on a jointer. Can't slavishly slap the board
down and hope for flat and thick, pays to be crafty and take off only the
high stuff first.
Neat thing about a 30" bookcase is that you can make a sled for a 30" board
and do 'em all, if you care to. You are crosscutting a bit long prior to
No such luck -- it's a DeWalt 735. It works well for me because I'm
patient and don't work with huge quantities of wood at once. I've got
the feed tables (not really optional accesories, IMHO) and some roller
stands, and so far I haven't had any problem with snipe at all, even on
~12.5 x 100 x 1.1 walnut. I don't think that I can adjust it they way
you can a good shop planer, though, in order to remove cup.
Your point about the hand plane is a good one. I'm always amazed by
how much it can do, but I've never tried using for getting rid of cup.
Maybe I'll try it on some cupped pine and see what happens. Thanks!
I haven't crosscut my walnut at all because I want to see which pieces
look best after planing, so that I can use those for the sides. I
figured I'd start by just getting the biggest rectangles I can out of
each board before doing anything else.
Not for cup, for twist, where you knock down opposite corners, and intrusion
where you've got a lump close to a knot. Quite a bit of effort for cup,
especially as you can work the side opposite of the crown, two high edges,
on the jointer one at a time.
My advice - use your mark one mod zero eyeballs , and maybe a wipe with
mineral spirits to estimate "best looking" boards, and get them closer to
manageable size before milling.
IMHO, this is good advice. smaller pieces mahine much more accurately.
Suppose you have an 8' board from which you want to make 3 30" shelves.
milling an 8' board flat and straight is actually quite tough (unless you
have pretty large equipment) and you will loose alot of material to a bow or
twist. Rough-cut to 32" and it's a snap on modest equipment and you will
have minimal loss of material.
This concept even applies to chopping up plywood. Full sheets are hard to
manage and can drift off slightly off course if they are not really well
BTW you can cheat and push your board through the planer for a light pass
before flattening to help you see what's going on with the grain.
Common practice, not cheating. It's called skip planing or hit and miss
"One of the common denominators I have found is that expectations rise above
that which is expected." George W. Bush
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